It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year for Cargo Theft: 4 Tips to Keep your Cargo Safe

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year For Cargo Theft: 4 Tips To Keep Your Cargo Safe.

’Tis the season for cargo theft. While the rest of the world is gearing up for holiday gatherings, gift giving and, of course, testing the capacity of our stretchy pants at holiday dinners, thieves are prepping to hit their year-end quotas with big holiday hauls.

According to CargoNet, nearly $10 million in cargo was stolen from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2 of 2020, and the numbers are only expected to rise in 2021. The top two places thrives target? Parking lots and secured yards.

If you own or manage a warehouse, truck yard, salvage facility, or recycling plant, now’s the time to make sure your property is properly protected against holiday thieves. Here are four tips to keep your cargo safe during the holidays (and all year).

Why are the holidays so hot for cargo theft?

The holiday season is a perfect storm of opportunity and incentive for cargo thieves. Extra freight is in transit to meet consumers’ surging demands. Storage facilities and warehouses are often short-staffed because of worker vacations. And the demand for stolen goods skyrockets during the holiday shopping season. It’s both easier and more profitable for criminals to go into overdrive during the holidays.

Particularly this year, people are more desperate than ever to make extra cash. Covid-related joblessness and medical bills have driven people to take risks they usually wouldn’t to make ends meet. This leads to not only more cargo theft from professional cargo thieves, but more and more “newbies” are entering the cargo theft market out of desperation and lack of options.

Catalytic converter theft is hot for the holidays.

Thieves will always steal what they can. But they’re most likely to focus their nefarious energy on items they can move quickly — and for a hot profit. In 2020, the most stolen cargo categories were electronics, household goods, and food and beverage. We expect the same in the 2021 holiday season. But one thing that’s topping cargo thieves’ “holiday wish list” this year is catalytic converters.

The price of precious metals needed to manufacture catalytic converters has skyrocketed, leading to catalytic converters being more expensive and, therefore, more tempting to cargo thieves. The spike in catalytic converter theft we saw in 2020 and 2021 is not likely to stop, but only increase, in 2022 and beyond.

Tips to keep your cargo safe during the holidays.

1. Lock your equipment keys away – This should come under the “Things We Shouldn’t Have To Tell You” category, but locking away keys to your forklifts and motorized pallet jacks is one easy step many facility managers forget to take when things get busy. By simply making sure every piece of outdoor equipment has its keys locked up, you take away a thief’s ability to use YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT to load your freight onto their trucks.

2. Watch for fictitious pickups – Fictitious pickups account for nearly 10% of cargo theft. The internet makes it easy for criminals to set up fake companies, win transportation bids, and create phony paperwork that lets them pose as legitimate truck drivers and trick companies into allowing them to pick up loads. Always triple-verify any type of pickup to make sure it’s legit, so you’re not handing your precious cargo over to a scammer.

3. Secure your perimeter with electric security fencing – Nothing stops a criminal like electricity. Electric security fencing offers multiple layers of security for your cargo yard.


First, the intimidating look of a 10-foot fence with bold yellow “Warning: Electric Fence” signs send criminals the message that you are not playing around with perimeter security.

Second, if the cargo thieves do decide to try their luck, they’ll experience the stopping power of a “medically safe but memorable” electric shock. PLUS they’ll be greeted with blaring alarm sirens and ultra-bright LED lights that alert security to their attempt to breach your perimeter.

“But, what happens if the power goes out?” you ask? Solar powered electric security fences absorb and bank power from the sun, so you’re protected even if the power is out. This is a significant advantage for companies in locations that regularly experience hurricanes, tornadoes and ice storms.

4. Get the dual verification you need with video surveillance – Police waste valuable time and resources responding to false alarms. That’s why many cities are implementing codes that require two forms of verification before the police will respond to a security alarm.

Video surveillance satisfies the police response requirements for dual verification, reduces false alarms, and provides “Glamour Shots” of criminals brazen enough to attempt to breach your protected yard or site, so they’re easier to prosecute in court.

Want to feel peace on Earth this holiday season?

Nothing brings peace like knowing your business is safe from cargo thieves. AMAROK’s Electric Guard Dog Fence™ and FORTIFEYE™ – the world’s first integrated electric fence, video and monitoring system – help keep your valuable cargo safe 24/7/365.

Don’t play Santa to cargo thieves. Call AMAROK today to discuss how we can protect your cargo, your profits, and your peace of mind with perimeter security you can count on.


AMAROK is a full-perimeter security company based in Columbia, South Carolina that provides commercial security services throughout the United States and Canada. Specializing in solar-powered electric fencing and perimeter security systems for commercial properties, AMAROK also provides supplemental surveillance solutions, including cameras, lights, and alarms. Together, these business security services form the ultimate crime prevention solution for any business.